Indian Navy is clearly and steadily building its amphibious warfare capabilities, with the latest induction of a Landing Craft Utility (LCU) L51 on March 28 at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The honours during the induction were done by Andaman and Nicobar Commander Vice Admiral Bimal Verma in the presence of Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition Vice Admiral Dilip M Deshpande.
The LCU was built by Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) as part of an eight-ship order for the Mk-IV class of LCUs that has been ordered with the g ove r n m e n t - ow n e d defence shipyard. The LCU commissioned as L51 is the first of these eight ships that GRSE is building for the Navy. Conceived and designed indigenously, the commissioning of the L51 adds a feather to the nation's 'Make in India' initiatives and indigenisation efforts in the field of warship design and construction by the Indian Navy and Indian shipyards.
With a displacement of 900 tonnes, the ship spans 62.8 metre in length and 11 metre in breadth. The ship is propelled by two MTU diesel engines of 1840 KW rating and can sustain speeds up to 15 knots. The ship has been built to assist in amphibious operations by carrying out beaching operations and has an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at an economical speed of 12 knots. The ship provides a draught of 1.7 metre and depth of 4 metres, and is equipped with a 350-KW diesel generator set.